I’ve got an opening June 3rd, tomorrow. The dry fly game is amazing right now, fish are looking up and smacking Golden’s hard.
Give me a call and let’s go chase some trout.
It is time to go fishing. The dry fly game is on. Big fish are rising, and we are having some amazing days here on the Yakima River.
I would go into the details but lets just say, throw something big and golden and they are gonna eat it. The past two days we have had big numbers, big fish, and lots of fun. The weather is good, the flows are good, the water temps are good, everything is good. Lots of action, with anglers literally getting tired of catching fish. The Yakima River is showing her true colors right now and its only getting better.
I have availability in June and the hatches are just starting. We have golden stone and yellow sallie’s starting. Drakes are soon to come, and caddis are returning with the heat. We are also seeing PMD hatches shift to the morning. The stonefly dry game the past two days has been amazing between 1-4 pm. Just slaying them. The nymphs are also working all morning long. Big golden stone nymphs and a purple pheasant tail or prince has been getting it done. We have been fishing around 5-6 feet deep here in the upper. Streamers are also working.
I have had the privilege of being very busy guiding the river the past few weeks and the fishing has been damn near perfect. This season is shaping up to be a really good one. There are a lot of healthy big fish that are eager to play with anglers. We have had a lot of fish jumping, running line, playing anglers, and making for some really fun days here on the Yakima River.
I have dates open but they are filling up fast. Full Day Trips are $350.00 for 2 Anglers with Lunch. I’ve got half day rates and walk and wade rates as well. The overnight trips are ready to go, and the Teanaway River opens on the 4th of June.
Give me a call, get on the calendar, and lets go chase some trout. It is just bonkers right now.
River Update 5/22/16:
Is it April? Cause the weather sure seems to think so!
Fishing was slower today but we hit the upper upper, upriver of Cle Elum, and it was windy and rained a bunch. Was a good call though. We had the river to ourselves all day and we were able to tuck out of the wind. Fish were light lipping nymphs and we rose a few fish with dries but they all gave us the finger and refused flies no matter what we threw at em. Picky picky trout.
Apparently the lower river blew out a bit below Wilson Creek due to rain. Should calm down by Tuesday. The upper river near Cle Elum had a few more boats down it than normal today which is why I decided on upper upper river today. We need some consistency with the weather and fishing will really pic up.
We are also in transition between hatches and fish are post spawn so they are a little tuckered out. We’ve got into a lot of post spawn fish this past week and we have been extra careful with how we play them and release them. These fish gave us the best gift ever…more trout, so take care of them while they recover.
Here in the next week we will see the river come alive with hatches again. Weather is shifting back, some consistency finally, and that will bring back Caddis, we have PMDs just waiting to pop, we’ve got golden and yellow sallie stoneflies poised for awesomeness, and there are green drakes on the way! My personal favorite and I know all the good spots for them in the upper!
We also have the tribs opening June 4th. Teanaway, Cle Elum, and Cooper rivers all open. I will be guiding the Teanaway River this season. Talk about great wet wading!
Fishing is good and only getting better. I’ve still got the 26th, 27th, and 31st open in May and I have dates open in June! Give me a call and let’s go chase some trout.
There are trout…and then there are wild trout. I have been on a good run of trips the past week or so and haven’t had time to blog. The Yakima River is in great shape and fishing fantastically from top to bottom. I have been in the Lower River Canyon or the LC as I like to call it, and have had some great evenings rolling big fish with caddis dries, and hooking into big runners with nymph rigs, both on fun floats with guide friends and with clients.
I bring up Wild Trout because I had a set of clients this past weekend that made me realize yet again how amazing this river can truly be. I was on a double half day. I had finished my morning 5 hour float and had a great time with a father, son that slayed some wicked awesome trout on the nymph. I had a 2 hour break, had some lunch, hung out in the shop, and then my evening clients showed up. I was warned that the clients wanted a guide that knew the river well, was high energy, and wanted to fish till it was too dark. I am that guide.
These clients were the best of the best when it comes to fly anglers. 30 plus years experience fly fishing, semi retired, fish all the time together, fish all over the west, Montana, BC, Oregon, California, the Bitteroot, Rock Creek, Elk River in Fernie, you name it they have fished it. Take guides all over, own drift boats, row and fish with friends on a weekly basis. But never on the Yakima. So we hit it.
We were in the LC so it was all about that Caddis. But, the weather system had changed and we had a rain storm move in from the southwest. This made the Caddis not as big a factor so we were nymphing shallow with small attractor nymphs and we were doing pretty well. The first thing they noticed was how fast the fish were. In my head I was saying, “You should fish the upper Yak dudes.” But the fish from top to bottom are wicked hot right now and this cold cold water from our good winter has these fish turbo charged and feisty.
We hooked into some good sized trout and immediately they were impressed with how hard fighting they were. Amazed really, that 15 inches of Wild Yakima Rainbow was able to run and jump in the heavier currents and play anglers like they knew all the tricks. Smart, wily, trout. When we hooked into the larger fish they gave us a real show. Running back upriver, tail-walking, jumping then running under the boat, tangling lines or as my clients referred to it, “Murphed Up” as in Murphy’s Law. We switched to dries when the rain stopped and my clients were again taken aback by how quick the trout were and how fast anglers reaction time had to be in order to get a good hook set on the larger trout tucked 4 inches from the bank. The trout required tight casts with perfect presentation and when both anglers are casting at perfect 45 degree anglers down stream while the boat is hovering slow and steady it makes the whole day smooth and groovy. Then the front really moved in and the rain returned. Twas 6 pm and it was raining. Like raining dudes. Now I know that fish still gotta eat in the rain. So we switched up, got a little soggy, and chased trout till dark with nymphs. Again the fish were cooperative albeit slightly less with the down pour. We hovered into Pac Man rock and did two laps with no love. We had just lost the largest fish of the day in an epic Murphed up moment. Huge 20 incher smacks the purple prince, runs upstream, jumps…over the back seat anglers line and runs down stream. Now we have a big trout tangled in two anglers lines running and jumping all over the damn place. Absolutely hilarious and awesome. We of course lost the fish but not before getting several good looks at it while it gave us the equivalent of a wild trout middle finger.
Again my clients were impressed with the ferocity of our trout and how much fight they have in them. The evening was settling in and we came up on some campers just before the take out. Four lady anglers all dressed up in pink and purple rain jackets, waders and boots, fly rods in hands fishing for troots in the rain, hardcore, making all the other guides and anglers that passed by to get out of the weather look like chumps. We talked for a bit, they were having a pretty good day I commented that they were they most hardcore anglers I had met this season camping in the rain, fishing till dark:30, making us all look bad. We rolled on down river, almost too dark to see and called it a night.
I walked into the bar at the lodge, soaking wet, last off the river, beard soggy, sore, and jacked from wicked day of fishing with clients. The bartender told me I looked like I needed a drink and I accepted. I got a few stares from the warm and cozy customers, and heard a fellow guide ask over the crowd if I had just got off. I replied yes, and everyone asked how it was. My clients came up and their smiles said it all.
We spent the evening talking about how amazed they were with the caliber of trout the Yakima River has to offer. These trout make you want to come back and fish for them again and again because they are constantly testing you as an angler. These trout are wild, and they act like it. When anglers and trout of the same caliber meet it is a beautiful thing. Hearing these very experienced, inspiring anglers praise and compliment our trout; as well as my guiding, boat skills, and knowledge of how to target and play these fish was a great ending to a long and rewarding day on the river.
I invite you to come experience these wild fish and the place they call home.
Hope to see you riverside.
The yak is wicked right now. From top to bottom the fishing is on! Caddis, Golden’s, pmds coming. Fish are active and feeding! It’s time to go fishing. Get in the calendar. May is gonna be a great month. We have overcast skies in the forecast. Fishing in the upper is stellar on cloudy days. The lower canyon is on fire with Caddis and Golden’s aren’t far behind.
I hear this statement a lot: “You get real excited about fishing.” So much so that I make a habit of warning my clients before we launch that I’m going to be loud and make noise and get into it, so just tell me to shut up if it’s too much. I won’t shut up the whole day otherwise. I get asked why a lot of time. Apparently I am a bit fun in the boat and can make a scene. When it all shakes out it comes down to two things:
First. I’m young and it’s just how it is. But moreover, I’ve had a lot of negativity through my early adult life, and fly fishing is a result of that.
Second. Fly fishing is fun, and I get paid to show people a good time. I don’t know how else to do fly fishing but the way I do.
The first thing. My life has been filled with some crap. Like everyone. I’ve been homeless, with my family. I’ve dealt with depression and insomnia which I took prescription drugs for, almost lost my two daughters at birth. The last kid was not fun, and my lady and I took a brief break a while back because I was not being a good husband or father. There’s more, but it’s less important now. My lady and I made a lifestyle change for our family that cut out all the negativity and focused on our family unit and what we wanted out of life. For ourselves and our minions. This choice ultimately led me back to fly fishing and guiding at the suggestion of my always on point lady. She always new I was more at home and myself on the river sharing fly fishing. And when your lady tells you to just get your boat and go guide you don’t argue.
I tell this brief life history because it’s important. A few decades of negativity in ones life dating back to childhood and something happens to you when you find something you are passionate about. All your energy, that pent up frustration with life, the disappointment that ensues from a crummy time, the lack of self love and confidence that develops, all that gets turned into that positive excitement my clients see on the river. Fly Fishing is what makes life mean something for me. I can look back on all my large life decision as an adult, or stressful moments, and I find myself healing through fishing. When I had my first child and spent 3 days in the NICU with her. I went fishing after. When I was unemployed and getting turned down for jobs over and over I went fishing. When my wife left me, fishing, when we got back together…fishing. Almost every time I think back on a major point in my adult life…I’m fishing prior or after. I lose myself in the river and trout and let all that negativity flow away. Leaving only the good stuff.
For me I found the best medicine for a rough go at life. Fly fishing, interacting with nature on many levels, connecting to something organic and tangible, the solitude and community that fly fishing gives, it’s better than any med I ever took. That excitement you see when I’m riverside or when I’m with clients, it’s real, I can’t help it. I used to be really self conscious about it. But after having a few kids, dealing with some shit, and honing my skills as an angler, frankly…I just don’t give a F$&@ now. I get excited about fly fishing and I ain’t ashamed.
The second thing. Fly fishing is pure fun, a frivolous activity that serves no other purpose than those of the selfish endeavors of a fish sensitive outdoorsmen or outdoorswomen.
I used to be a musician, I know what it’s like to entertain, fly fish guiding is no different. I am there to show clients a good time through education, good stories, and all that fly fishing entails. And I assure you it’s a plethora of things. One of the only ways I am stimulated by fly fishing and feel that rush of endorphins that tricking a trout can give any angler is through guiding other anglers and giving them that moment. I need it in large doses so to speak, that’s why we have two angler seats in the drift boat. I gotta double tap that shit. I tell clients if I could pay the bills with the energy and moments I get to share with trout and people I would. Money in this gig is just a byproduct for me. Like a musician who does it for the art, the love and need to create and play music…fly fishing is no different for me.
It may sound corney, or cliche, and some say I take it too seriously, but in the grand scheme of this thing called life…I ask…what else is worth enveloping oneself in? Fly fishing is a great accompaniment to life. After 10 years of doing it I can’t express enough what it can do for people. From the PTSD suffering vet that uses it to heal, to the hard dealt 30 year old father and husband just trying to figure life out and how to best get through it, to the cubicle dwelling couple that just need sunshine and alone time, to the six figure incomers that are stressed and spread thin, to the bullied teenager who just needs a quiet place to find themselves…fly fishing is a great companion. I see people from all different walks of life, river and trout don’t care. All are equally insignificant to the river, trout, and nature. Erry-body got problems, and for some, fly fishing makes them go away for a while. Sometimes that’s all ya need to get through.
Got real there for a bit, but I don’t just take people fishing for the money, when I’m not with clients, I’m still fishing, still chasing those trout, not because I want to conquer fish or because it’s cool…because it’s part of life.
Go chase some trout. River is good right now and everyone needs a little trout love. So trout yourself.
Quick River Update for May 5th:
The time to fish is now! The flows are perfect, and forecasted to stay in good shape! The fish are eating nymphs and dries consistently here in the upper. Things are really picking up and fish are smacking both nymphs and dries hard. We had a lot of fish today and the latter part of the day gave us some great dry fly action.
Time to take a day, book a trip, and go catch some fish! Give me a call, email or message and get on the calendar! It’s trout season! Time to Trout Yourself!
As I have said before. The Yakima River is a caddis river. As these little aquatic moths looking morsels start popping these fish get really fun. Already I have gotten into pods of fish feeding on deep water pupa and the occasional dry. But it is coming. Caddis Is Coming!
May is here and with it comes nice weather, consistent flows, and cooperative fish. Water temps start rising, flows are up, fish need food and flies are nice substitute. Fish get caddis…lots of it. May also brings about the real meat of guide season starting. From now until October, its time to chase trout.
There are a lot of guides that work the Yakima River. Some outfits charge a lot of money for a guided fly fishing trip. I encourage anglers looking to book a guide this season to look away from the big business guys and take a look at the smaller independent guides. We are cheaper, we typically have a more intimate relationship with the river, and we are small business owners that make their entire living off of taking people fishing…so we do a really good job. I can speak very highly of all of the independent guides I know here in the area. I would refer any of my clients to an independent before sending them to a shop. Mostly because I know the experience the client will get. That isn’t always the case with a larger outfit.
I live and love to take people fishing. It makes me want to get up in the morning. I spend all my time during the guide season focused on making sure my clients have a wonderful and fun experience on the river. A lot of prep goes into my trips, I don’t just show up and put my boat in and hope for the best. I have been on river prior to the trip, I have fished it, found where the fish are, what the are eating and when. I plan the day accordingly. I also have a back up float just in case something happens like too many other boats in the same section. So much for me goes into my trips that it would take it’s own blog. But everything from when hatches come off down to the minute, to the flies I tied for the trip, to when lunch is, when we hit this specific run or section, and which bear stories I plan on sharing are planned out ahead of time.
One of the ways I enjoy fly fishing and one of the ways I challenge myself as an angler is through guiding. For me there is nothing quite like two anglers and guide in rhythm fishing, the boat rolling down the river, oar strokes in tempo, fish rising, anglers casting, big laughs, fish causing chaos, net, release, handshake…do it again. There is truly nothing quite like it. And I have stood on stage in front of 35,000 people at a concert once. With Shania Twain to boot! Hooking into a trout…way better. I can only compare fly fish guiding to being a drummer in a wicked awesome band. The drummer is the backbone, the tempo, and the entertainer of the crowd usually…plus they are the drummer and being the drummer is f’ing rad. Just vibing along jamming with the other anglers, in sync, in tempo, feeding off each other, then a fish hits, and things get crazy, like a guitar or drum solo break. It’s damn near intoxicating for me. It’s part of the reason I get so stoked when I am on the river. I get into my fishing and guiding. I have a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. I mean…look what I do for a living. Trust me…all that energy is real and organic…I literally can’t help myself. I have had clients ask my why I get so into it…”How can I not?”
I invite you to come fish with me. You’ll get to throw flies I tie that no other guide or shop has, you’ll get to learn from someone who fishes this river more than most and has spent the last decade honing skills not only to catch trout but also how to teach people to catch trout, and you’re gonna have a good time. I can guarantee that, can’t make the fish eat, but I can make the day rewarding and fun one way or the other. I have clients that have already come back multiple times this season. Some to learn more about technical fishing and all the nerdy fun stuff about this sport, some just to hang out and fish with my weird ass. I dig it…and I appreciate it. I have lots of options for anglers including overnight trips, and the tributaries including the Teanaway open for fishing and guiding in a month. Now is the time to set a date aside to come fish. This year is going to be amazing for chasin’ trout and I am looking forward to being very busy this season.
Thank you to all the clients that have come out so far this early season. A special thank you to those who have come back multiple times and those that have already booked dates later this season. Cannot wait to fish with clients this season! Hope to see you riverside…and remember to support your local trout guide.
The month of May brings us consistency, Salmon Flies, and Caddis. The Caddis hatch is coming off on the warm days but fish still don’t seem to be keying in on the dries. They are eating pupa underneath however. I’m having great success with salmon fly nymphs and fish are starting to smack dries…especially cutthroat.
The calendar is already starting to fill up for this month so give me a call and get on the calendar and let’s go chase some trout.
I’ve got availability in the schedule this weekend and the Caddis hatch is coming off rather nicely. Salmon flies haven’t full on popped yet and the March Browns are still hanging around.
The fishing is picking up, the upper river is in shape and the lower end will be in shape soon. Give me call and book a trip, I’ll have overnight trip dates available next month for those interested.
Come chase some trout!